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This early pattern found in Genesis and Exodus, runs throughout the rest of Scripture. God preserves Ruth and makes her part of the lineage of the Messiah. God empowers the Judges to lead his people out of disaster. He chooses David, calling him from his post as shepherd of his familys sheep. God makes great promises to David of a Messiah coming through his unending lineage. Hundreds of years later, God uses Jehoshebah and Jehoida to preserve that lineage from a vicious queen gone mad. Later still, God strategically places Esther in a unique position in a foreign palace, and uses her courage to save her people from certain death. You see, God is willing to get his fingernails dirty with the grit of real human life, and in the context of real human history.
|God is willing to get his fingernails dirty with the grit of real human life.|
In Jesus, however, we see the clearest example of the God who cares for all people, even the most of marginal of them. Jesus musters Peter, Andrew, James and John from the seashore, their fishing boats, and their fathers. He calls them to join him in Gods work. He nudges Matthew away from the tax collectors booth, then accompanies him to his salvation party with sinners. He sees Zaccheus in the tree and shares a meal of salvation and joy with him. He touches the leper before he heals him. He makes a mud poultice with his own spittle and places it on the eyes of the blind man, restoring his sight. He takes a little girl by the hand and raises her from the dead. In Jesus, God absorbs the nails, wears the thorns, and is rubbed raw by the splinters of the cross. God is not willing to just know about our world as God. He chooses to experience it as one of us. He gets his fingernails dirty with the soil of life and death.
Why recount all this? One simple reason: If we are to believe in the God of the Bible, we must believe in the God who involves himself with real people. We must believe that he cares our health, loneliness, and ostracism. We must know that God isnt afraid to get dirt under his fingernails working in the carpenters shop, sharing a meal in deserted place full of hungry people, or carrying his own cross to Golgotha.
The unbelievable truth of Scripture is that God does care about us! He cares about you! He even cares about me! He cares enough to get involved and know us personally. He cares enough to live in us through his Spirit. He cares enough to send Jesus back to bring us home to himself. The unfathomable Creator of the universe has chosen to demonstrate his love for us in tangible terms and in words we can understand. Our God has come comfort us with his presence and to touch us with his grace. And when we turn and see his hands of grace, we see the scars from our nails and the fingernails dirty with the grit of our world.
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